A new board of directors for Dhelkaya Health

The Minister for Health has appointed a new board of directors for Dhelkaya Health. The new board were drawn from existing boards of both Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health following amalgamation of the two health services on 1 March 2022.

The new board directors bring a wealth of experience from a range of professional backgrounds including healthcare, community health, housing, legal, financial and governance. The directors also bring strong local connections and local experience to the mix, with many living locally or with strong ties to families here.

Ms Sue Race, CEO Dhelkaya Health, said: “In an historic first for our region, we have a single board overseeing delivery of health and community health services. Previously the impressive skills mix on boards in our shire were dispersed across three separate boards, each with their own area of focus. I’m absolutely delighted to welcome this incredibly skilled group to a single table to focus together on improving health and wellbeing for our shire equitably.”

The new board has elected Ms Vanessa Healy as Board Chair and Peggy Ronnau as Deputy Chair. The Chair and Deputy will be ably supported by:

  • Ms Margaret Lewis, Board Director
  • Mr Jeff Rigby, Board Director
  • Ms Cindy Schultz-Ferguson, Board Director
  • Ms Shan Wellham, Board Director
  • Ms Alexandra Randall L’Estrange, Board Director
  • Ms Linda McNeill, Board Director
  • Ms Heather Holst, Board Director
  • Mr James Downing, Board Director
  • Ms Libby Fifis, Board Director

Ms Healy said: “I am honoured to lead this very skilled and dedicated board. We have already held our first meeting and we look forward to overseeing work to bring a new strategic plan and vision to life. That said, we are very conscious of the proud history of Maldon Hospital, Castlemaine Health and CHIRP in the community, so will ensure this work proceeds very carefully and with due respect for what has come before.”

Ms Race has also endorsed a considered approach to the next 12 months. She said: “We know that change can often be overwhelming and the introduction of a new name and identity has the potential to be confusing if not managed properly. Our priority is to ensure staff, clients, residents, patients and community are comfortable and clear about the changes as we move through the process. In particular, we will ensure that our community know where to get the health services they need, when they need them.”

The new name Dhelkaya Health will be phased in gradually through the next 12 months. In line with the commitment outlined during the integration consultation ‘Maldon Hospital’ and ‘Castlemaine Health’ have been retained as registered business names. Dhelkaya Health is the new name that brings these services, and CHIRP Community Heath, together.

The first key step for the newly integrated organisation will be development of a new strategic plan. Staff, volunteers and communities will be consulted to help define a shared vision and plan for the future. Further information about how the community can get involved in helping to shape the future of health in Mount Alexander Shire will be published at www.castlemainehealth.org.au and www.maldonhospital.org.au

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